As part of ongoing efforts to support those affected by recent flooding, Nebraska Extension county offices across the state have moisture meters available for homeowners to borrow to monitor the moisture content of flooded materials.

The Dodge County Extension Office, at 1206 W. 23rd St., has seven moisture meters that can be borrowed for a 48-hour period.

“We will loan them out to people who are interested in using them and they come with instructions on how to do the test, and we have a packet of information that will accompany the meters for the folks that are picking them up,” Karna Dam, Dodge County Extension Educator, said.

It’s common for homeowners to discover large amounts of mold in walls months after a flood because they didn’t wait for the structure to dry before making repairs.

The moisture level of structures cannot be determined by appearance or time spent drying, so a calibrated meter is recommended to measure moisture levels before rebuilding, according to information released by University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

“It’s important to wait until wood and other materials dry out before attempting to repair a flood-damaged home,” Dave Varner, associate dean with Nebraska Extension, said in a released statement. “Renovating too soon could trap moisture, leading to rotting and promoting the growth of mold.”

One-hundred-fifty moisture meters have been distributed to extension offices throughout Nebraska — including the seven currently available at the Dodge County Extension office in Fremont.

Dam says people can stop in to borrow the meters, or call the Extension Office at 402-727-2775 to see if a meter is available.

Those outside of Dodge County are encouraged to contact their local extension office for moisture meter availability.

Access to moisture meters is just one of the many ways that Nebraska Extension is helping Nebraskans recover from the flood. More information and flood-related resources for individuals and families, homeowners, businesses, and farmers and ranchers, is available at https://flood.unl.edu.

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